If you can’t say anything nice, maybe there’s nothing nice to say. Say it anyway.

If you’re a woman, you’ve surely been told, reprimanded, ‘If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.’  To the extent that there may be nothing nice to say, that standard of politeness has crippled us.  It has made us keep our opinions to ourselves.

My neighbours have their tv on all the time; as a result, they do very little thinking on their own.  Not only because there is no silence, typically required for thought, but also because they’re exposing themselves so relentlessly to a worldview censored by a handful of conglomerates motivated primarily by self-interest.  And then, because there’s nothing going on in their heads, they can’t stand the silence, so they keep the tv on all the time …  But do I say “Shut that thing off and wake the fuck up!”?  Of course not.  That would be rude.

They also travel a lot, by RV and by plane, checking off destinations on their bucket list.  (They also keep their thermostat at 21 degrees, make single-stop trips by car into town all the time, and eat meat every day.)  Do I point out that they’re leaving a huge ecological footprint, that they’ve contributed to the climate change, that they’re partly responsible for the increasing number and severity of storms, even the forest fires that have twice ravaged areas in their own province, and that they’re therefore being rather selfish and inconsiderate?  No.  I ask whether they had a good trip.

It the standard were applied to men as well, on the one hand that would be worse: everyone would be self-censoring, no one would be honest, dissent would be internalized and then extinguished altogether.  However, as it is applied mostly to women, it enables one of the worst elements of sexism: it makes us mute. 


    • Lilith on April 20, 2022 at 11:45 pm

    Greetings! I LOVE your site!! You know, one of the absolute BEST things about being alive in the year 2022 (besides the LGBT community being more visible & proud than ever:), is the extremely convenient, liberating, and overall FANTASTIC reality that in this day & age, we are mind-blowingly afforded the luxury of being able to carry around basically a “portable COMPUTER” (I.E. “smartphone”) that fits in the very palm of our hand!! Reminiscing; as I look back on my teenage years, if someone told me that this would be possible in the year 2022, I would have never have believed them. That being said, it’s SO refreshing & comforting that I can simply google “radical feminist blogs,” and instantly discover relatable, raw, and extremely important/informative blogs for women/girls to read and empower themselves from (such as yours), to instantly remind me that there are countless other fab & brave women/girls on this twisted, surreal, unpredictable, and (sadly still patriarchal-ruled) planet who think similar to myself. THANK YOU! My Dad raised me as a “tomboy, “ and even though he always reinforced to me that (as a woman) I could do anything a boy could do, and do it better. YET, ironically, the very same, exact words that graced the first paragraph of your above post was what I also (sadly), and clearly remember him telling me (yet interestingly so not to my brother..) “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all!” I honestly cannot imagine any men in this society being fed the same oppressive, silencing, sexist BULLSH*T as we are as young girls (and even pathetically as grown, mature women)! I’m just getting started enjoying your writings…thank you for taking the time to create a radical feminist blog; we as women and girls (ESPECIALLY young, impressionable, naive girls who are exposed to the obviously MISLEADING & falsely glamorized pro-prostitution “industry,” (or for them to become a “sugar baby” (which is a sometimes not so obvious code for prostitution in terms of her dealing exclusively with ONE paying client instead of several..), being poorly disguised as “empowering” to women instead of what is truly is: PAID RAPE! I’m looking forward to reading the rest of your blog; thanks again & stay strong!

    • ptittle on April 21, 2022 at 7:00 am

    Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! (And my site gets, sadly, so few visitors, and even less discussion, so SPREAD THE WORD!)

    Interesting comment about fantastic smartphone portable computer – I spent much of yesterday angry having discovered Rogers has a plan whereby for $70, people can get 450GB/mo internet. Where I live, Rogers is my only option, and the only plan provides for $60 7GB . Yes, you read right. Every additional 10GB costs me $20. So to get 450GB, I’d have to pay almost $1,000. AND I’m getting that measly 7GB at 1-2 mbps. So much for equality of access. Still, yeah, if someone had told me years ago I could even HAVE this internet connection…

    More to the point, your comments about being a tomboy and your dad and my post and radical feminist blogs … yeah. It’s a real pity that Twisty’s I Blame the Patriarchy archive is no longer up. I read through every word, the discussion of so many brilliant women … Femonade was another great one.

    Anyway. On another note. I think you’ll enjoy my just-published novel, Jess. I attach pdf and epub (no charge — and if you’d like any of my other novels, just ask (and that goes for anyone else reading this!); my webmaster is in the process of making them all available for free at all of my sites; he’s done pegtittle.com, but not yet hellyeah) (and not to push, but I’m about to publish Fighting Words, which you’ll also like, and would love to have some sort of reader response/review blurb for Jess to include in the front matter of Fighting Words, so if you feel inclined to read the novel and write something I can use, with attribution to you and your own work, if applicable–let me know!)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.